Jimmy Harper trial: Witness called by city makes valid points for plaintiff

Jimmy Harper's attorney: Deputy chief's testimony helps case against city

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Louisville Metro Police Department's Deputy police chief Michael Sullivan gave the last testimony during day five of Jimmy Harper's lawsuit against the city of Louisville.

Sullivan acknowledged that Chief Steve Conrad was responsible for an inaccurate form documenting Harper's demotion.

Harper claims LMPD violated state law when the major was demoted in 2016.

Attorney Thomas Clay is defending Harper. He has totaled the damages to over $6 million.

"Everybody who is employed by the Metro Police Department is watching the results of this trial," Clay said.

Clay said Harper's lawsuit will send a message.

Harper claims he was demoted for speaking out to Mayor Greg Fischer regarding Conrad's reorganization of the department.

Here is some of what Clay asked Sullivan in court:

Clay: "If the mayor had asked you similar questions would you have told him the truth?"
Sullivan: "Yes."
Clay: "Would you expect Major Harper to tell him the truth under similar circumstances?"
Sullivan: "Yes."

Erica Harper, Jimmy's wife, also provided emotional testimony of how hard her husband worked as a major before his demotion.

Community members who support Harper, including councilwoman Jessica Green, also took the stand.

"I felt very good about the testimony that has come out today," Clay said Tuesday.

Sullivan's testimony reiterated earlier claims that Harper volunteered to work LMPD's River Patrol. The form documenting the organization charge was brought forward as evidence.

"I testified earlier the chief's name is on the form," Sullivan said. "His signature is on the form. He would be responsible for that form."

Conrad is expected to be the last witness called before the case heads to the jury Wednesday.

"The deputy chief of police was called forward by Louisville Metro Government and I felt was more helpful to us then metro government," Clay said.

Clay believes his client has momentum headed into the final day of trial.

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